Axel Dittmann the Ambassador of Germany in Serbia stated today that Serbia made a significant step by opening the Chapter 23 because it concerns issues and principles that are vital for Serbia’s path toward the European Union.
„Essential for Serbia itself is the improvement of the rule of law since it is key for improving the investment climate and thus for sustainable economic development of Serbia. Also, the improvement of the rule of law is important for strengthening the rights of each citizen,“ pointed out Dittmann at the conference organized by the Human Rights Committee.
Dittmann reminded that the Chapter 23 concerns the underlying values and principles on which the European Union is founded: democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights, an independent judiciary, freedom of thought and fight against corruption.
He emphasized that Germany supports the reform process in Serbia.
„Significant funds have been allocated from Serbian-German cooperation to improve good governance and to create stable, reliable, institutional framework,“ noted the Ambassador of Germany at the conference „Implementation of activities envisaged by the Action Plan for Chapter 23“.
By opening the Chapter 23 Serbia took an important step forward, said Dittmann and stressed that it is now important that the Action Plan measures are put into practice.
„In this a big role plays the reform of the judicial system. It is of crucial importance to build a legal system that is based on respect for the rule of law and strong and independent prosecutors and judges,“ stated Dittmann.
Dittmann stated that with the implementation of Chapter 23 Serbia initiated extensive reforms in cooperation with the European Commission, noting that the Action Plan for this Chapter includes important legislative changes and necessary amendments to the Constitution by the end of the next year.
Noting that Germany strongly advocates the opening of Chapters 23 and 24 in July this year Dittmann reminded at the conference „Implementation of activities envisaged by the Action Plan for Chapter 23“ that Serbia needs to strengthen the rule of law because it is of crucial importance for improvement of business climate and sustainable economic development.
The Ambassador said that it is very important to establish strong, independent and impartial judiciary, stating that the elements of the Action Plan for Chapter 23 include the elimination of any political influence in the appointment of judges and prosecutors, as well as in the selection of independent bodies such as the High Judicial Council and the State Prosecutorial Council.
According to him, the efficiency of Serbian judiciary needs to be improved and the number of unresolved cases, of which there are presently five million pending, needs to be reduced. The Law on Enforcement and Security will also contribute to this. He pointed out that Germany will continue to support Serbia on it’s path to Europe and expressed satisfaction that his country can support Serbian government in the implementation of these reforms.
Stating that this will be the reform process of the entire Serbian society he explained that this process needs to be a joint effort between the government and civil society, and that the civil society and its powerful role is of great importance for Serbia on it’s path to EU.